Conditions and Treatments

Toe conditions range from mildly annoying to disabling and painful. Please use these Guides to Toe Conditions to educate yourself about your condition and treatment options. Many toe conditions can be addressed in early stages without surgery,  but some advanced stages may require surgical treatments. Please use our Foot Specialist locator to find a surgeon near you.


Tight toe boxes and high heels force your toes into cramped spaces that restrict blood flow, cause pain, and produce toe deformities. If compromised long enough, your toes may suffer from shortened ligaments and stiff joints that combine to cause your toes to curl downward in the shape of a hammer.
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Claw toe

Claw toes can result from tight or pointy shoes, but also from nerve damage, foot and ankle trauma, and inflammation. Your toes bend similar to hammertoe, at the middle joint, but they also bend at the distal joint nearest the end of the toe. This double bend forms a claw shape.
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Mallet Toe

This toe deformity occurs most often on the second toe and at the distal joint, near the end of the toe. Tight shoes are often the culprit behind this condition as well. Your toes bend at the far joint, forcing the end of the toe in a downward position.
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Floating Toe

Floating Toe deformity is caused by biomechanical issues that may result from failed or incomplete fusion, or arthrodesis, as a result of surgery, or from complications after a Weil Osteotomy. Your toe rises and may cross over adjacent toes, causing pain and discomfort.
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Treatment Options

Toe conditions may be treated in early stages by methods as simple as changing your shoe types, to adding pads, and, if appropriate, custom orthotics. Later stages may require different types of surgery.
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